• Wed. May 11th, 2022

WATCH: Senate Commerce Committee hearing on U.S. airline industry use of COVID-19 aid

The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on the U.S. airline industry’s use of the federal government’s COVID-19 aid.

Watch the audition in the player above

Virgin Atlantic has received 400 million pounds ($ 530 million) in new funding from its shareholders to help the airline weather the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the company said its shareholders, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, would provide the money based on their holdings. Virgin Group owns 51% of the airline, while Delta owns the rest.

“Our story has been well documented during the pandemic,” said Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss. “Overall, our Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines shareholders, as well as our creditors, have been a source of unwavering support. “

Like the entire industry, the pandemic has hit the airline hard, which has had to raise funds on several occasions. Growing hopes that the rollout of vaccines and the lifting of travel restrictions and bans would help the recovery have been shaken recently by the emergence of the more transmissible omicron variant.

Nonetheless, the airline said it expects a return to sustainable profitability from 2023, driven by a recovery in demand for air travel and already achieving cost savings. He said he had fully funded deliveries of new aircraft until 2024 and pledged to ensure sustainable air travel.

“With the addition of new routes and a continued focus on operating a cleaner, greener fleet, there is much to be hoped for,” said Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group, which also has stakes in a range of businesses from entertainment, finance and health care.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said Virgin Atlantic’s business had “transformed, allowing them to take a stronger airline out of the pandemic.”